The title of the book is “nouvelle manière de fortifier les places”, which is already quite
revealing; It seems to be a kind of guide for architects (and probably warlords, too) on how
to successfully design war-proof architecture. Maybe even architecture that might you a war
or battle. It seems to reveal some kind of new finding as it promises to tell the reader the
“new ways” of designing those kinds of structures. There must have been an “old way”
before. Maybe the author conducted some research on the war-safety of buildings and how
to improve it, at least the books title suggests so.
Consequently, the book contains lots of illustrations in the end. Detailled illustrations that
show this “new way” of building safe places. This is needed of course to show the architects
and their clients what the outcome of their work should look like in order to fulfill the
The book is very small, approximately 15x10cm. It looks like a kind of handbook, almost like
the architects could take it on site to work with it which would be coherent with the
interpretation of the booklet being a kind of a guide on how to achieve a goal. But there is a
twist: the illustrations of course need to be detailed and therefore need a certain size. The
author solves this problem by making the pages which contain illustrations much bigger and
folding them multiple times in order to fit into the booklet.
The author of the book, M. Blondel, has some sort of military function; “Marechal de camp
aux armées du Roy”, which is basically a general in the king’s army. This explains obviously
why he would design military buildings. He seems to be the French King’s war architect, with
a PHD in mathematics, too.